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Legislative Memo: Gender-Neutral Marker for Welfare Management System

The Welfare Management System—the computer system that determines access to food stamps, Medicaid, and many other programs and emergency services—accepts only two gender markers: an M or an F. This means that non-binary, gender nonconforming, intersex, and some transgender New Yorkers are barred from applying for or receiving benefits unless they misidentify their gender or sex as “male” or “female” under oath. And further, an applicant who is forced to misrepresent their gender identity to access necessary benefits is likely to be misgendered by the government employees who manage their case. This is unacceptable.

A.7877 (Dinowitz) / S.6079-A (Gounardes) will create an X gender marker in the Welfare Management System; require that all application materials, instructions, and public guidance associated with the benefits application process have a gender- neutral marker option; and ensure that access to benefits is not hindered because of a person’s sex or gender marker.

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